Saturday, May 22, 2010

John Fea on Romans 13, American Creation and Steven M. Dworetz

See here.

He quotes Steven M. Dworetz's The Unvarnished Doctrine: Locke, Liberalism, and the American Revolution. While I haven't read the book, I have read parts that Gregg Frazer quoted in his PhD thesis. Fea quotes the following passage:

Basing a revolutionary teaching on the scriptural authority of chapter 13 of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans must rank as one of the greatest ironies in the history of political thought. This passage, proclaimed by George Sabine as "the most influential political pronouncement in the New Testament," served as the touchstone for passive obedience and unconditional submission from Augustine and Gregory to Luther and Calvin. "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, for there is no power but of God: The powers that be are ordained of God. Whoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil...For he is the minister of God to thee for good...."

The medieval church fathers as well as the reformers and counter-reformers of the sixteenth century all invoked this doctrine in denouncing disobedience and resistance to civil authorities. To them it seemed absolutely unequivocal. If civil rulers, as such, "are ordained of God," then resistance is in all cases a sin and, indeed, as Luther put it, "a greater sin than murder, unchastity, theft, and dishonesty, and all that these may include." In sum, Romans 13 easily earned its reputation in the history of political thought as the "locus classicus of passive-obedience theory."


I've learned a lot from among others Fea himself, Frazer, and a whole host of scholars of virtually every ideological bent. One thing I struggle with is this notion, now in vogue in Texas, that "Christian principles" played a key role in America's Founding. No doubt they were influential. But few "Christian Nationalists" seem willing to admit that "Christian principles" are often complicated, disputed and go both ways -- or, because they are so disputed are vociferously argued both ways -- on some of the most important issues during the American Founding as well as today.

It is a "Christian principle" that what the American Founders did in revolting against Great Britain was "a greater sin than murder, unchastity, theft, and dishonesty, and all that these may include." It's also a "Christian principle" that their revolt was okay.

I think a more honest way of putting it is, "the Bible was consulted as authority." Not the Koran or other holy books. Though other sources like Ancient Greeks and Romans were consulted as well. But the results may not have been what a particular believer in good faith thinks the Bible teaches.

For instance, unitarians of that era "consulted" the Bible and determined that Jesus was not God. Universalists "consulted" the Bible and found it taught all men would eventually be saved. Benjamin Rush "consulted" the Bible and found that it abolished the death penalty. Even today Barack Obama "consults" the Bible in support of socialized health care and Ted Kennedy "consulted" Leviticus of all places in support of hate crimes laws that protect sexual orientation.

Likewise both sides "consulted" the Bible on slavery. And certainly the Bible was "consulted" in support of the notion that heretics should be burned at the stake.

31 comments:

Tom Van Dyke said...

Very provocative, so I spent an hour poking around, and here's my initial impression:

Here's a link to the GoogleBooks preview of the original for those interested in what it says about Romans 13, which

"...served as the touchstone for passive obedience and unconditional submission from Augustine and Gregory to Luther and Calvin."

True. But I used the search function in the GoogleBooks concordance and found only that one reference to Calvin, none on Aquinas, Suarez, Bellarmine or the Scholastics, Schoolmen, Vindiciae contra Tyrannos, Beza, Vermigli. Passing references to Algernon Sidney.

There is a reference to [Rev.] John Ponet which the preview unfortunately cuts off at p. 158. Yet it does suggest that the traditional interpretation of Romans 13 is on the ropes as early as the 1550s, pre-Enlightenment, pre-Locke. Since by all accounts, it was Calvinist Presbyterian types who actually put their boots on the ground in actually fighting in the American Revolution, I don't see how a full account can be made without Calvinism, or more precisely "Reformed Theology."

From a review:
"Unvarnished Doctrine" restores Lockean-liberal thought to its proper place as the dominant ideology of the American Revolution. In doing so, this excellent book challenges republican revisionism which either denies the significance of Locke's liberalism or casts it as anti-revolutionary ..."

I did read Dworetz' introduction. It's the rather tall weeds of scholarly battle, a revisionist anti-revisionism, against Bailyn and the Cato's Letters theory, against Leo Strauss and Garry Wills's "bourgeois" Locke, which is more hedonist than theistic, for Locke's "liberalism" and against "Whig theory" and the "historiography" of republicanism as driving force.

Cautionary footnote: At the core of this scholarly dispute, Dworetz seems to dispute Bernard Bailyn's "Cato's Letters" epistemology of the Founding epistemology, Bailyn maintaining that the Founding era's understanding of the thinkers often mentioned was often superficial, such as Burlemacqui being given the same status as Locke. More on that here from Bailyn himself.

I don't enjoy the tall weeds of these scholarly disputes, preferring to read original Founding-era source texts for myself. However, Bailyn's epistemological complaint that the Founders tended to read the original sources second-hand through intermediaries must be kept in mind at all times. Having read a bit of Burlemaqui for myself, I find it unlikely that Hamilton sat through him, even as he name-drops him.

As a trump card to Bailyn's thesis, Dworetz seems to invest in an erudite fellow and intimate of many Founders named Peter van Schaack, who had actually read all of Locke, decided that Locke would not support revolution, and left America at the coming of the revolution.

That's my overview of the battlefield. Anyone who takes on that many sacred cows and the academy's prevailing wisdom surely has some interesting light to shed.

Certainly, I'd appreciate any corrections of this quick survey of "Unvarnished Doctrine."

Tom Van Dyke said...

Upon more review, it seems like I got this about right.

Michael Zuckert on Dworetz, p. 69.

Warning: PDF, and it takes awhile to download---

http://www.interpretationjournal.com/backissues/Vol_21-1.pdf

It comes down to which is the "right" Locke, and what was the Founders' Locke, their understanding of him?

Zuckert is more a Straussian, and sees less of a theistic Locke [in fact, none atall] than Dworetz. And there's a bit of culture war for the "liberal" Locke of individualism vs. the "republican" community version. [Funny how those terms plugged right in.]

Zuckert notes Dworetz being on the other side of Bailyn and Gordon S. Wood, a sort of revanchism to the original "liberal" Locke from the new "republican" Locke of Cato's Letters, an anti-revisionist revisionism, or whathaveyou.

My original reservations about ignoring 500 years of Christian thought and narrowing the Founding down to whose or which Locke stand. Locke's contemporary Algernon Sidney [who was very familiar in America] arrived quite at the same place, and acknowledged his debt to [or at least synchronicity with] the "divines," including even the papist Schoolmen.

http://www.constitution.org/as/dcg_102.htm

Zuckert unintentionally reveals an irony by noting Dworetz accuses historians of not being intimate enough with Locke [as political philosophy scholars are] to recognize the echoes of this thought when the Americans don't directly attributed him.

True, and fair enough. But many or most political philosophers---let alone historians---aren't familiar enough with Christian thought or even the Bible to recognize their echoes in the political philosophy of that age.

Anyway, a very interesting return to the focus of this blog, in a way that Drs. Fea or Frazer might not quite have anticipated.

Jonathan Rowe said...

Thanks for the Zuckert reading. That'll be some Sun. reading.

Joe Winpisinger said...

We are on Romans 13 again? Just kidding. Good post that brings up the fact that Christian theology can support the revolution or not. It came support slavery or not. There is much disagreement within this theology but it is all still Christian. Which gets us to my two questions I started my series of posts of with:

Which Christians ideas helped bring us into the modern world?

Which Christian ideas impeded our progress toward the modern world?

I have read many times that numerous people believe that Luther held back individual rights and representative govt. in Europe for centuries with his view of Romans 13 and divine right. I would agree.

Barton messes up with bringing sotierology to a place it need not go. So does Frazer on the other side.

Brad Hart said...

Joe writes:

"Good post that brings up the fact that Christian theology can support the revolution or not. It came support slavery or not. There is much disagreement within this theology but it is all still Christian."

I think this is why Jon (and I) have a problem with Christian Nationalists who insist on calling America's founding "Christian." The term is simply too broad to define, much in the same way that "secular," "deist," and "Theistic Rationalist" don't tell the same story. We can find tons of examples of where the founding was indeed "secular," "deist" and "Christian" because those ideas (and many others) were brought to the table. The American Revolution was like Baskin Robbins: if you bring 31 flavors to the party chances are everyone will find something they like. You've got the deist/Theistic Rationalist flavor for men like Jefferson, Madison, etc. while Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, John Jay, etc. can gobble up the Christian stuff. But the important point is that everyone found a reason. As Joe and Jon point out the Bible was consulted, and to them justified, the American Revolution. For others, the Bible's teachings didn't matter. They liked a different kind of ice cream.

Here I am getting wrapped up into another semantics discussion. =)

Tom Van Dyke said...

Christian Nationalists who insist on calling America's founding "Christian." The term is simply too broad to define, much in the same way that "secular," "deist," and "Theistic Rationalist" don't tell the same story.

The Enlightenment had a couple hundred flavors, too.

But I'm starting to agree with you, Brad, that discussion is becoming increasingly useless. Whatever. How's the weather?

Joe Winpisinger said...

Brad,

I agree in general but the foundational phrase in our foundational document is undeniably Judeo-Christian. The rest is added to it. But if you crack the foundation the whole building comes down.

Joe Winpisinger said...

I might add that this foundational concept come from the most foundational verse in the Bible that sums up the Torah(law). This was the addition do Greek and Roman thought that brought it to the next level.

bpabbott said...

Re: "the foundational phrase in our foundational document is undeniably Judeo-Christian."

I think the theological phraseology of the DoI was intended to be what individual wished to make of it. At the very least the words intended to open the door for Deism and many deists did walk through it.

The point of the broad theological terms was to unite individuals with very broad religious perspectives in a struggle against tyranny. The desire for a "big tent", was a matter of principle and necessity.

In case, I appear to be pounding this too hard, my central concern is with painting the founding with religious doctrine. Which I admit played a role for individuals but my view is that the founding was an event by the religiously inspired people but not a religious event in of itself.

Joe Winpisinger said...

There is nothing deist about inalienable rights grounded in man being the workmanship of God. If there is make your case. I have made mine.

bpabbott said...

Joe: "There is nothing deist about inalienable rights grounded in man being the workmanship of God. If there is make your case. I have made mine."

Joe you've made a Christian theological argument to demonstrate that the DoI is consistent with Christianity. What has not been demonstrated is that the DoI is uniquely Christian, or more appropriately it has not been demonstrated that Deism or other theological perspectives were intended to be excluded form the founding ethos.

Regarding making a case for Deism, there isn't a formal theological doctrine to argue from.

My case is that the language of the DoI wasn't broad by accident. It was intended to encompass diverse theological perspectives. Deism being one of them as is implied by the Deists (for Thomas Paine and Ethan Allen these is no doubt) who were active participants in the founding even if they ultimately were not popular with the public.

Tom Van Dyke said...

It's quite American for the 98% to make every effort to "accommodate" the 2%.

Not so much when the 2% demand the 98% conform to them.

bpabbott said...

Re: "It's quite American for the 98% to make every effort to "accommodate" the 2%"

Well said.

Which is consistent with my view of the DoI ... That it was intentionally written in a language that would be appeal to those who value individual liberty and object to government favoritism by blood, class, or religious association.

King of Ireland said...

Ben stated:

"Joe you've made a Christian theological argument to demonstrate that the DoI is consistent with Christianity. What has not been demonstrated is that the DoI is uniquely Christian, or more appropriately it has not been demonstrated that Deism or other theological perspectives were intended to be excluded form the founding ethos."

The workmanship of God ethos is uniquely Judeo-Christian. There is no disputing this. If it is possible make the case. Where the Deists and others would embrace the historically Judeo-Christian understanding of rights based on man being the workmanship of God certainly not.

You have idiots on Dispatches and other blogs saying it was Deist arguments that were embraced by Christians Ben. Very few understand the theology enough to get the history right. It does not exclude anyone. The ideas are Judeo-Christian though. To miss that is to miss the place America has in the evolution of the Christian West.

An identity that many seek to deny today.

King of Ireland said...

"My case is that the language of the DoI wasn't broad by accident. It was intended to encompass diverse theological perspectives. Deism being one of them as is implied by the Deists (for Thomas Paine and Ethan Allen these is no doubt) who were active participants in the founding even if they ultimately were not popular with the public."

Then why did they add God as a supreme judge? This is offensive to deism that states that God does not intervene or care. It is also ways that Jonathan Edwards referenced God in numerous sermons. There is nothing deist about it.

Where is the deist case for inalienable rights based on a God who cares what we do because we are made in his image. This myth has to be debunked. This theology is totally incompatible with most other relgions.

It is the old we are all the same even though are religons teach things that are impossibe to reconcile with each other argument. It sounds nice but it bogus.

If the goal was to appeal to other religions there are many different ways they could have written it. They were using the Christian case for resistance to justify deposing the tyrant king. It is that simple. All this crap about them trying to not hurt other people's with different religious views feelings is a non-starter. There were no Buddhists, Muslims, or Hindu's there to worry about.

Politically correct ethos of the modern day has not place in the founding.

bpabbott said...

Re: "Then why did they add God as a supreme judge? This is offensive to deism that states that God does not intervene or care."

There is no formal doctrine for Deism. Many Deists do pray. The more conservative ones object strongly to the practice. You appear to be making the same argument against Deism that Frazer makes against Christianity. Meaning you're embracing the more conservative understanding, while dismissing the diversity of the faith.

Re: "This theology is totally incompatible with most other religions."

Whether theologies are, or are-not, compatible is irrelevant. Theologies may be incompatible and still be consistent, or not in conflict, with the DoI.

The question is whether or not the founders intended the DoI to exclude Deists.

bpabbott said...

Wikipedia contains a nice passage on Deism in the 17th century. Which includes the five common notions by Lord Herbert of Cherbury

(1) There is one Supreme God.
(2) He ought to be worshipped.
(3) Virtue and piety are the chief parts of divine worship.
(4) We ought to be sorry for our sins and repent of them.
(5) Divine goodness doth dispense rewards and punishments both in this life and after it.

These notions appear to me to be compatible with the founding ethos.

I suggest reading more of Herbert to get a feel for 17th century. Other individuals of interest would be Anthony Collins, and Matthew Tindal who is said to have influenced James Otis. James Otis is attributed with popularizing "Taxation without Representation is Tyranny".

Except for the details of Biblical characters (for lack of a better word), I don't see a great distance between 17-18th Century Deism and Christianity.

Tom Van Dyke said...

But deism doesn't get you to God-given rights. Nor to Providence.

But you do seem to be correct that it can get to Supreme Judge of the world, altho perhaps only of the individual, in the afterlife.

However, from what I can gather [not having studied it deeply], deism was fading by the Founding, if not killed philosophically by David Hume in 1747.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism#David_Hume

King of Ireland said...

"Except for the details of Biblical characters (for lack of a better word), I don't see a great distance between 17-18th Century Deism and Christianity"

If the 5 things you posted above are Deism then there is not.

bpabbott said...

Re: "But deism doesn't get you to God-given rights. Nor to Providence."

Well regarding Providence, the 5th of the Common Notions arguably encompasses it.

Regarding "God-given rights" … the DoI asserts that it is self-evident that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.

" We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights".

I think the "self-evident" part negates the need for special revelation from scripture. Hence, I don't see how any religion can lay claim to that part, or how it supports the exclusion of any religion.

However, even if I could not answer those objections, please notice I'm holding a negative assertion.

My position is that the wording of the DoI was not intended to exclude Deism, but was intended to construct a diverse theological ethos for the founding. One that encompasses the perspectives of all religious individuals with a love for liberty and prejudice for tyranny.

Regarding Hume, he is regarded as having butchered (figuratively) some of the aspiring Deist philosophers, and is often credited with contributing to the decline of Deism, that doesn't mean the Deist perspective was dead or forgotten.

But to be honest, I find Hume confusing because I don't see his opinions as being supportive of any particular religion of his day, or ours.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I quite agree. One scholar calls Hume not atheist or agnostic, but "irreligious," which seems satisfactory.

I think the "self-evident" part negates the need for special revelation from scripture.

I for one never argue that, and really, neither does K of I. In fact, I think we both object to "Christian thought" being put in the sola scriptura [the "Bible alone"] box of Calvin and Luther, and presumably, mosern fundamentalists, rendering moot the very concept of "Christian thought," of Aquinas and the Schoolmen, and indeed of many of Calvin's very learned and philosophical successors, Beza, Vermigli, Mornay [credited as author of the Vindiciae contra Tyrannos], etc.

In fact, it's at the core of my objection to Dr. Gregg Frazer's historical method, as well as Robert Kraynak and a number of accredited others. But Christian thought is far more than the Bible. It's got Aristotle in it. Until modernity's total break with medieval philosophy [Hume, Voltaire, Kant, and onto the utilitarians] Christian thought is Western thought.

Hence, I don't see how any religion can lay claim to that part, or how it supports the exclusion of any religion.

Again, we return to "natural law." The claim of the existence of a "natural law" is an a priori claim, that the "state of nature" has a "law of nature" to bind it. And the claim of God-given rights is an a priori claim, via natural law.

To touch on God for a moment, my argument is simply that by the time the "deist" God is "warmed" up to being a Judge and providential, He is indistinguishable from the God of the Bible, a uniquely [Judeo-]Christian conception of Him among all man's religions. the deists were onto nothing new.

See, "Aristotle's God" is the true deistic God, monotheistic, but the whole "blind watchmaker" trip. This is all that might be derivable by reason, and indeed, Aristotle did.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Ben, our discussion has brought an interesting thought to mind, that Edmund Burke's "conservatism" is purely a posteriori. He argues that man's institutions and traditions evolved "organically," which we might read as by "trial and error." His opposition to the revolution in France is based on their a priori, conceptual/rationalist claims, that a good thinker can sit down and conceive of a new and better system. His caution is purely empirical.

On the other hand, Burke opposes the inhumane British behavior in subduing India, and specifically uses the natural law phrase that decent behavior applies to "all men at all times." And although the scriptural ground for natural law appears in the Epistles as "the law written on man's heart," Grotius and the Jesuit Francisco Suarez before him argue that even if God doesn't exist, natural law is true.

That's why I used Murray Rothbard, an atheist himself, to argue natural law here, instead of a Christian or even theist.

http://americancreation.blogspot.com/2009/04/primer-on-natural-law.html

Just to keep it clean. The problem with "modern" philosophy is its rejection of all man's [Western] wisdom that came before it, and exhibited by the brutality of that blog.

To sum up, I'm making several arguments here, all interrelated re the Founding:

1) The Deists came up with no new God.

2) Rights cannot be grounded by empiricism alone.

3) Christian thought is not just the Bible. Christians were quite rational starting with Paul the Apostle [educated in Greco-Roman classical philosophy], continuing through Aquinas and even the Calvinists [more properly, Reformed theology]. Any attempts to make Christianity into mere emotion and "enthusiasm are dishonest. [Although there are certainly strains in Christianity that reject reason for "faith."]

And to sum sum up,

---"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"----

I think the "self-evident" part negates the need for special revelation from scripture.

...that is clearly true if you're using "special revelation" precisely as Thomas Aquinas did---truth that's uniquely in the Bible and cannot be derived by reason, "general revelation," the law written on man's heart.

Rights and liberty as the Founders derived them cannot be found sola scriptura. That required "Christian thought" and medieval philosophy. The D of I makes a natural law argument for rights and liberty, something that Greco-Roman natural law theory does not.

The Founding was the fruition of those 500 years of theologico-political evolution. It was not the product of "modern" philosophy. Modern philosophy's spawn started with the French Revolution.

bpabbott said...

I followed you up to "He is indistinguishable from the God of the Bible, a uniquely [Judeo-]Christian conception of Him among all man's religions.".

"A" Can't be unique and indistinguishable from "B".

Regarding Aristotle's God, calling him a Deist's God is a misnomer. My understanding is that that sort of Deism is largely a modern construct.

Re: "The Deists came up with no new God"

I'm not sure about that. I could start down a path of comparing the character of the Christian God (jealous and vain, with his need for human agents) and the Deist's God, but that misses the larger point.

Which is that the founder's did see marked differences in these perspectives of God, but also saw them as representing the same entity even if the asserted characteristics where (in some examples) markedly different.

However, whether the same or different, I see no evidence that the DoI was intended to exclude Deism.

Because of that I see no reason why the God of our Nation's founding should be labeled as using a term implying a unique religious perspective.

As the term Judeo-Christian implies a unique religious perspective, creating a religious divide, which I think antithetical to the founding ethos, I remain attached to the term God of Providence. Which I find consistent with the broad theological intent implied by the DoI.

I also don't object to the informal "Christian-y" as it is associative and doesn't imply a uniqueness.

Tom Van Dyke said...

"A" Can't be unique and indistinguishable from "B".

Paul the Apostle told the Men of Athens they were worshiping the One True God without knowing it. Old Christian tactic.

The point is that the One True God was a considered a reality; men only differed in their perceptions of Him. This was certainly Franklin's view.

But I understand non-Christians don't like the word "Christian." But again, this includes the God of Christian thought, and of natural law as Locke and Hamilton argued Him. It's simply not the "god of the philosophers" or of the Greco-Romans. When Jefferson and Franklin contemplated putting the exodus from Egypt on the national seal, despite any personal reservations about the truth of the story, their imagery was unambiguous.

King of Ireland said...

"My position is that the wording of the DoI was not intended to exclude Deism, but was intended to construct a diverse theological ethos for the founding. One that encompasses the perspectives of all religious individuals with a love for liberty and prejudice for tyranny"

I agree and Tom already said why.

King of Ireland said...

"To touch on God for a moment, my argument is simply that by the time the "deist" God is "warmed" up to being a Judge and providential, He is indistinguishable from the God of the Bible, a uniquely [Judeo-]Christian conception of Him among all man's religions"

I would agree. I think "Rational Christian" and "Deist" in the terms you used the word are about the same thing. Definitely if you limit the scope to political theory.

I agree with Tom that when Barton and Frazer bring sotierology into the discussion of political theory it pisses on the whole discussion. I have really been saying that from the start.

I am not sure what I personally believe about sola scriptura in regards to soteriology to be honest but that has not bearing at all on believing it has no place in a discussion of political theory. That is not to say one cannot use the Bible but the discussion should not be limited to just using it.

Tom,

I like the term Christian thought. I am not happy with how a titled my last post in that it does not convey what my point very well. It may take some time to really crystalize the thoughts but I like that term.

King of Ireland said...

"and exhibited by the brutality of that blog."

What blog?

King of Ireland said...

"The point is that the One True God was a considered a reality; men only differed in their perceptions of Him"

A good discussion(well ok since the usual hacks that insult, claim victory because they are of superior knowledge, and then beat their chests in victory congratulating themselves) at Dispatches broke out about this. The Christian guy arguing was trying to bring sotierology where it need not go when stating the the Christian God is different from the Jewish or Muslim one.

I think it says in Romans that we all do not see God clearly but one day will know him as we are known. That should humble all of us.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I was referring to an atheist blog that I linked and Ben was familiar with.

As for the other blog you participate on, I wouldn't touch it with a barge-pole.

But you're quite right about their smug ignorance. The answer to the question you were asked is in


John Locke

1690

The Second Treatise of Civil Government


This equality of men by nature, the judicious Hooker looks upon as so evident in itself, and beyond all question, that he makes it the foundation of that obligation to mutual love amongst men, on which he builds the duties they owe one another, and from whence he derives the great maxims of justice and charity.

This fundamental equality of men, written directly into the D of I, comes not from Enlightenment[?] Locke, but from the Rev. Richard Hooker, the "Father of Anglicanism."

Do they know who Hooker is? No way, Jose. They think Locke dropped in from Mars one day in the 17th century, to invent rights and liberty and save man from religion.


Bellarmine: “All men are equal, not in wisdom or grace, but in the essence and nature of mankind” (“De Laicis,” c.7) “There is no reason why among equals one should rule rather than another” (ibid.). “Let rulers remember that they preside over men who are of the same nature as they themselves.” (“De Officus Princ.” c. 22). “Political right is immediately from God and necessarily inherent in the nature of man” (“De Laicis,” c. 6, note 1).


St. Thomas: “Nature made all men equal in liberty, though not in their natural perfections” (II Sent., d. xliv, q. 1, a. 3. ad 1).

King of Ireland said...

Just posted it there. I would have given you credit to see them all shit their pants but you said you did not want your name mentioned there.

If pastors should stay out of biology if they have no clue then scientists should stay out of theology and history that is impacted by it.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Yes, I don't want my name mentioned, thank you. The Second Treatise quote puts Hooker directly into the D of I. It's more complicated to get Hooker directly to Aquinas, but it's disputed by nobody that he was a Thomist. [And an Anglican clergyman!]

Although there were unrepublican sentiments in other Christian thought, this is the one that won! Further, there were crosscurrents in Enlightenment thought, too, like Hobbes. But he lost!

And on the whole, equality of men was held by Christianity in general. This is not true in Greco-Roman thought. Aristotle said some men were "natural slaves."

http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/distance_arc/las_casas/Aristotle-slavery.html

Aristotle does not ask, as Aquinas and Bellarmine do, by what right does one man rule another? By natural right, Aristotle would say.